Dingo Deans’ Wallabies Stats (Pt 3)
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In part three of Dingo Dean’s Wallaby stats, I’d like to continue the focus on Wallaby try scoring under Deans, specifically against our main rivals New Zealand and South Africa.
After all, according to the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Statistical Review and Match Analysis, most points in Test matches still come from tries: 74% of all points at the 2011 Rugby World Cup came from tries and their conversions.
Now we established in part two that since 2007, Deans’ Wallabies have the second best try scoring rate of the top tier nations. It was also discussed in part one that under Deans the Wallabies have had their most successful period against the Springboks in their history.
These two statistics go hand in hand.
Since Deans took over we have averaged an amazing 2.6 tries per match against South Africa.
To put this figure into perspective it is substantially higher than the 1.8 tries Australia averages overall against South Africa. It is also much higher than the 2.2 tries we have averaged against them since their return from the rugby wilderness.
What is probably most impressive is that this current try-scoring rate under Deans is higher than any other side including the mighty All Blacks. They only managed an average of 2.5 tries against the Springboks in the same period. We’ll take that as a 0.1 win to the good guys!
Going back to part one for a moment though, it was noted that Deans’ win ratio against the All Blacks is far too low.
We should know that this lack of success against New Zealand hides that our try-scoring propensity against them has also actually increased since Deans took over (in comparison to the four year period preceding his). Most impressively, this has been during a period where we have seen try scoring across the board decrease rapidly.
Yet under Deans, the average tries scored against the All Blacks has gone back up to the healthy average of 1.8 tries per match: in the 2004-07 period, it had dropped down to 1.5 tries per game.
1.8 tries per match doesn’t sound like much, so to help put this figure into perspective we should note that this is higher than the overall Wallaby average of 1.6 tries per match against the All Blacks.
And if we continue to compare Deans’ average of 1.8 tries against the All Blacks with specific Wallaby periods, we see that again he is doing comparatively well.
For instance in the 1984-87 period, it was a mere 1.3 tries per match against out trans-Tasman rivals.
Even in the Ella led ‘golden’ period of 1980-84 we could only manage the same 1.8 tries per match against the All Blacks. It was also 1.8 in the 1996-1999 period against them.
But no period in the past thirty odd years was it as low as the 1988-91 period where the rate was a paltry 1.2 tries per match. Perhaps Bob Dwyer needs to rethink some of his criticisms of how the current Wallabies play because, although in the 1992-95 period it rose to 1.7 tries per match, that is still less than the Deans era.
The only time that it seems a Wallaby team was scoring more tries against New Zealand than Deans’ Wallabies, was in the 2000-2003 period. Here we saw an average of 2.0 tries per match.
The extra 0.2 tries per game might not seem much but it was enough to accommodate our most successful period against New Zealand and our highest ever win ratio of 56% in a four-year period. Clearly we need to be able to average at least two tries per match against the All Blacks!
Regardless, Deans deserves credit for the fact that no other major Test nation has managed as many tries on average against the All Blacks since 2007. The next best of the countries that have played them on multiple occasions since then, after Australia, is France who had managed 1.4 tries.
But for mine the most telling statistic is that in comparison, during the same four-year period, South Africa have only managed to average 1.1 tries against the All Black’s, compared with Deans’ 1.8.
So although Deans’ win ratio against the All Blacks is low, we are scoring a relatively healthy amount of tries against them.
It is also worth noting that Deans Wallabies average 2.3 tries per match against France and the Home Nations. This is not a great return and clearly this average has suffered by not having put away Scotland on two occasions.
But no one can take away the fact that of the top tier nations, Australia tops the separate try scoring averages against both New Zealand and South Africa respectively, during the current Robbie Deans’ era.
Roarers, what are your thoughts on the Wallaby try-scoring rate against these two sides under Robbie Deans? Is the criticism directed at the Wallabies for a lack of try scoring valid?
And remember: ‘Statistics can be used to prove anything. Including the truth’. (Anonymous)